Roben Brookhim, of Short Hills, was arrested on October 2 at Associated Dental in New Providence, where he allegedly practiced dentistry under the assumed name and license number of John Kirkland Jr., DMD, a dentist who died in October 2011. He has been charged with the unlicensed practice of dentistry, identity theft, and healthcare claims fraud.
According to the state Attorney General's Office, Brookhim allegedly used Dr. Kirkland's name at the New Providence office, Associated Dental offices in West Orange and Springfield, and a Family Dental Center office in West New York. Dr. Kirkland was registered to practice dentistry at all four offices before he died. The exact relationship between the two individuals and the owners of the dental offices is still under investigation.
Dr. Kirkland died of natural causes and foul play is not suspected in his death, officials stated in a press release.
Brookhim is a formerly licensed dentist. The New Jersey State Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended his license in August 1999 following a complaint by the state alleging multiple counts of insurance claims fraud and patient record violations. The board permanently revoked his license in December 2004 following allegations that, while suspended, Brookhim performed dental treatment and submitted billings to insurance companies under the name of another dentist. His license remains revoked.
Although Dr. Kirkland is deceased, his license to practice in New Jersey was still officially active at the time of Brookhim's arrest, with an expiration date in 2013. Dr. Kirkland's license was last renewed on October 14, 2011 -- a day before he died.
The investigation by the Division of Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau, Union County Prosecutor's Office, and New Providence Police Department began with a complaint that Brookhim was practicing dentistry despite the revocation of his license. The investigators soon learned Brookhim was allegedly using Dr. Kirkland's name and license number, while practicing in offices previously owned by Dr. Kirkland.
Brookhim is being held on $75,000 bail.
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